Compassionate Appointment Rules

The very nomenclature – compassionate- denotes more than just in the ordinary course which , therefore, entails relaxed procedures, pro deceased employee’s family interests, introduction of necessary amends in the rules, if found not conducive and above all, applications for such appointments disposed of expeditiously. It also entails that not merely rules, procedures and practices were interpreted in such a way that they favoured a cause loaded with empathy without compromising with the core rules but a concern was manifest in action by the Government on the ground for ameliorating the sufferings of the next of kin of the concerned deceased employee. It may be recalled that the issue had duly been highlighted in its perspective last year by us that certain amendments were needed to be made in the existing rules and the relevant SROs to be reviewed to pave the way for smooth appointments under the compassionate category. In August last year, in this connection, the UT Government had constituted a committee too with the assignment to suggest ways, measures and suitable amendments that needed to be carried out in the existing compassionate appointment rules albeit SRO 43.
Further, as per the procedure, a timeline too was fixed for submission of the recommendations by the said committee so that rules could be amended . However, we would like to reiterate our feelings , if not fears, that hardly, rather rarely, can it be found that committees constituted in Jammu and Kashmir for similar administrative purposes and senior bureaucrats being on them, submitting a report well in time. The same has been found in the instant case too as unfortunately but not on expected lines, that several deadlines fixed by the Government have conveniently been missed by the said committee. The recommendations so submitted had to be seen and shaped in the context of several favourable judgments by the Supreme Court which could be incorporated along with the ones adopted by the Central and even other State Governments.
So far, perhaps , the element of compassion has not been duly determined in the UT and it is surprising that as to why the instance or the practice followed by the Central Government is not implemented and why should the process be routed through the longest and even uncertain route through recommendations by the (expert) committee of bureaucrats which appears to be unmoved about accomplishing the job even after several months though it being related to compassion. We even try to touch the extremes looking to the interests of the people in suggesting that should such be the routine outcome of committees constituted to submit recommendations in sensitive and even emotive matters, better it would be to outsource the same or out rightly implement the one adopted by other States/UT, more so by the Central Government. To tone up an indolent and slow-moving administration, doing away with the element of indispensability is imperative hence mooting outsourcing by experts in personnel and HRD fields could be the alternative to pre-empt approach of lackadaisical nature of such constituted committees.
Matter assumes their peculiar importance as regards conditions in Jammu and Kashmir where many personnel while discharging duties attain martyrdom and their families need all types of empathy and the practice followed by the Government of India needs to be followed which should have expectedly been in the report awaited from the said committee. SRO 43 , rules under it framed in the year 1994 in Jammu and Kashmir , provide a job to the next of kin – from the family – of a civilian, Government employee or armed forces personnel losing his or her life in militancy related action or a Government employee who dies in harness other than due to militancy related incidents. Since element of compassion is to be found ”hidden” in the concerned SRO , redefining and re-examining it and to suggest what best could be done was the important realm of the committee that has not done its job so far.
In PSUs of Government of India, needless to add, rules governing appointment on compassionate grounds of the immediate member of the family of an employee who dies in harness, are not only well defined but are totally clear which helps the concerned beneficiary from the employee’s family get appointed in the same institution/undertaking subject, of course, to a post meriting the set eligibility criteria of academic qualifications . Even in case of less literate or total illiterate applicants , provision of suitable compassion is ensured. The element of deciding such cases within 6 months is what the Supreme Court ruling is and rejecting an application on frivolous grounds too is not allowed . We, therefore, feel and urge the Government to accord priority to the matter and arrange Compassionate Appointment Rules to be made in tangent with the scheme adopted by the Government of India and in the light of the judgments of the Supreme Court.